JACKSON, Wyo. — The Jackson Town Council met last night, Jan. 17 for a workshop and directed town staff to proceed with final design plans for the realignment of Simon Lane at the Scott Lane and Snow King Ave. intersection.
“Given the volume of bike/ped traffic that we have through here and the volume of motor vehicle traffic that we have through here, we really need to do better with the design of this intersection for all users,” Town of Jackson Pathways Coordinator Brian Schilling said during the Monday night meeting.
According to Schilling, the realignment plan will create a protected four-way intersection and only utilize town-owned property and the public right of way. The Town will need an easement to construct the sidewalk on the east side of Scott Lane to The Grove, highlighted in yellow in the diagram below.
The realignment would create additional space on the south side of Simon Lane which would be converted to green space and two extended driveways. Schilling explained that the additional property would remain town owned and in the public right of way. No on-street parking on Simon Lane would be allowed beginning where the curb line starts to shift.
Schilling also clarified that pedestrians will have the right of way in the intersection. Cyclists will be expected to stop at stop signs and can yield through the bike lane when making a right turn.
Last March, the Town Council approved the concept design for improvements to the Scott Lane-Maple Way Bicycle/Pedestrian and ADA improvements project and according to Schilling, the realignment of Simon lane is necessary for that project to be successful. Planning for that project is being partially funded by a Transportation Alternatives Program grant through WYDOT and must be completed by the end of 2023.
“Without this shift, we end up with really eschewed crossings, not enough space legally for the ADA facilities, and it just doesn’t quite work properly. Shifting Simon Lane to the north really does kind of tie the intersection together,” Schilling said.
Schilling and town staff also propose the realignment because it could be combined with construction of the S4 Flats housing development project at 916 Simon Lane and 910 Smith Lane, likely to break ground this summer. The project consists of a new three-story building with 12 workforce one and two-bedroom units.
Other alternatives were discussed, explained Schilling, including a roundabout, but was deemed unfeasible. Schilling also noted that he met with all four property owners who would be affected and asked for their input.
The Town Councilors, with the exception of Councilmember Jessica Sell Chambers who was absent, unanimously approved moving forward with design plans and with combining the realignment with the S4 Flats construction.
Councilmember Jonathan Schechter asked for a comprehensive budget breakdown, the next time the item comes before the council.
“Assuming we go ahead and give you the approval, I’d like to know not just how much it’s going to cost but where we might find the money and what else we might be doing with that money. If we spend it on this, what will we not be doing with it?” Schechter said.
Schilling suggested that the fiscal impact would be several hundred thousand dollars.